2010 Blog Archives
Entries are posted from Jan - Dec and excludes giveaways/contests/special events posts

REVAMPING [April 24, 2010]

I am in the process of switching servers and revamping my website. Please have patience with me. I hope to have everything up and running fully by May 1.

Book Tour Recap #2: Coeburn Community Library [May 6, 2010]

Sorry it took so long to post this but between moving to different web host servers, getting Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy out on time, and revamping the website, I've been a wee bit busy. Never fear, I will finish posting the recap from my 4-venue book tour.

The second stop on my Virginia book tour was the Coeburn Community Library. I grew up in the little town of Coeburn, Virginia. Some of my fondest memories come from the library and the librarians who work there. I first started reading books by myself at the age of 4 and can remember the librarians being amazed at the amount of books my mother allowed me to check out.

Sometimes I had so many books that you couldn't see me behind them! Nevertheless, as I grew older and my reading appetite more voracious, the gracious librarians kept pace and constantly recommended books to me. They always told me I should think about becoming a writer and at such a young age I would scoff at that idea. What did I know about writing? Reading I did well, but writing?

I am glad to say that their wisdom was sound and here I am today, a writer. I enjoyed the nostalgia of coming home and sharing the thrill of being published with the librarians who gave me so much.

JD and I arrived, set up and settled in to see who would stop by. We were both a little concerned by the crazy weather. It had decide to be stormy and very rainy. We chatted up the librarians and handed out some cards. We didn't quite get the turnout we hoped for but I still had fun.

The highlight of the time spent there were two kids, who wandered over to the table. The older girl loved to read and the younger boy liked to draw. JD and I encouraged them to pursue both talents because who knows what it might mean for them in the future.

We received a pleasant surprise when the mother came over and wanted to know what we had done to quiet her children. Apparently brother and sister were rather boisterous children and the mother was amazed at the amount of silence JD and I had managed to garner from her offspring.

I just smiled and told her it was the power of the word.

Coming up, Recap #3: The Lonesome Pine Book Store.

Author Interview & Contest [May 12,2010]

Welcome to my blog. In this blog you will find thoughts, insights and news about myself and my work. Remember, everything is about perception and emotion. Today, however, is party time!

As part of my ongoing week-long celebration of my new release, "Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy," I'm giving you the chance to interview me and ask questions. Anyone who leaves a question will have their name put in a drawing for one of the four following prize packs:

  • Prize #1: Autographed copy of "Jewels", "Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy" and Special "Werelove Duality" Tee Shirt
  • Prize #2: Autographed copy of "Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy"
  • Prize #3: Special "Werelove Duality" Writer's Notebook
  • Prize #4: A guest role in one of my upcoming novels
  • All right let's get this party started!

    Here's a little about me to get us started:

    Where to start? I suppose with the basics.

    I'm a single parent of two highly creative children. I've been writing stories since the tender age of 8. It was always for school or my own amusement. Never for others. I've written fan fics (mostly during my high school years) and the stories tended to favor such shows as Star Trek, SeaQuest, and Highlander, just to name a few. I did a lot of poetry writing too during my high school years, mainly to release all my angst, woes and emotions that I buried deep inside.

    After high school I went to college and got two degrees: an AAS from Mountain Empire Community College (Big Stone Gap, Virginia) and a BA in Communications from the University of Virginia-Wise. It wasn't until after the birth of my first child that I considered writing a novel. Once I moved from Virginia to Florida in 2004, my goal solidified. I began work on a novel called "Moonbeams and Moonlight."

    I met a local writer's workshop group at the public library and through their steady encouragement, along with my many friends (online and offline) I started taking baby steps toward fulfilling my goal of producing a novel.

    I've had many road blocks and speed bumps over the last six years, but I've now achieved my goal and I plan on continuing to write. After all, my head is full of adventures and stories I want to share.

    NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. Feel free to ask about my works, latest release, my life, or whatever else may strike your fancy.

    Welcome to the Kishazworld.com Newsletter [May 21,2010]

    Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy News
    "Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy" is now available at Barnes and Noble, Google Books, Amazon.com, Smashwords.com (ebook), Kindle Store, Alibris, and Books-A-Million.

    Books 2 - 5 have been outlined and work on book 2 is slated for December.

    First review for Werelove is in and it was positive. You can read it here.

    Jewels News
    Jewels is now available at Barnes and Noble, Google Books, Amazon.com, Smashwords.com (ebook), Kindle Store, Alibris, Books-A-Million, and kobobooks.com (ebook). Chapter 1 of book 2 has been started, but expected actual writing on the novel is slated for October.
    Moonbeams News
    This work-in-progress (wip) has been ongoing since 2004. The goal is to get the first draft completed by July 31.

    This is the first book in a planned series.


    At the suggestion of a fellow author, I periodically do a google search on my name ("Lakisha Spletzer") to see where I and/or my books show up. This month yielded some interesting locations:

  • SciFan
  • Huntress' Book Reviews
  • I'm not complaining. It's just fascinating. If you're a writer, you should try this too.
    All the places and online events where you can find me during May. *PLEASE NOTE: All times are EST (Eastern Standard Time)
    CoyoteCon: May 1-31 "Werelove:Dusk Conspiracy" Release Party - Author Chat: May 8 / Time: 1 pm Muses and Worlds Blogtalkradio Interview: May 8 / Time: 10 pm Menagrie Authors Interview: May 10 / all day event Inner Muse Blog Interview: May 12 / all day event "Werelove" Release Party - Author Chat: May 14 / Time: 10 pm Hudson Public Library: May 15     Location: Hudson, Florida / Time: 1 - 3 pm Author Spotlight : May 21 on the Domestic Diva Yahoo Group Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb: May 26 / Time: 1 pm Oasis 23: May 28-30 / Location: Orlando, Florida

    Contests In celebration of my YA novel, "Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy," I am having a contest that will star YOU.
    Want a chance to appear in one of my upcoming novels? All you have to do is email me and tell me why you would make a great hero(ine). If being good is not your style but evil plots and machinations are up your alley, tell me why you would make a great villian(ess).
    The winner will be announced on June 15, so bookmark my contest announcement page.

    Author Goodies

    After speaking with several authors and friends, I decided to start doing video logs (vlog for short). The name of my vlog series is "Author Talks" and in them I will cover such topics as why I write, how I come up with story ideas, background information on my various novels and more.

    You can check out the first installments on my Youtube page.

    You won't believe this... [May 22,2010]

    ...but I found my book trailer for Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy is some very strange places. Just thought I'd share them with you.

  • Allsubs.org
  • Kendincos.com
  • Vidchili.com - this one had not only Werelove, but some of my other youtube trailers as well.
  • Univision.com - this one had the book trailer for Jewels
  • Last but not least, I joined a wonderful website called WHIZ BUZZ that promotes authors and helps readers discover authors.

    Book Tour Recap #3: The Lonesome Pine Bookstore [May 27,2010]

    The third leg of my Virginia book tour took place on Friday, April 9. This time I went back to Big Stone Gap to a very cool and neat bookstore called, "The Lonesome Pine Books."

    I was treated to a cozy atmosphere, some beautiful felines and a very nice local Writer's Workshop/Critique leader who I swapped stories with.

    The owners were lovely people and I enjoyed the Scottish accent. And did I mention the cats?

    Oasis 23 Recap #1 [May 31,2010]

    This weekend I attended my first Oasis convention. The convention, which took place in Orlando, Florida, ran for 3 days (Friday-Sunday) and was held in the Marriott Hotel, was not what I expected.

    After attending Necronomicon last year, I thought conventions were big. As in thousands attending. Oasis surprised me by having smaller attendance but the quality and the number of dealers (artists/writers/others) was great.

    I got to join in the fun by having my very first convention author table. I was surrounded by a comics/toy seller to my right and to my left was author STOKLEY GITTENS. I met Stokley last year at Necronomicon and was impressed by his novel, Peter Paul: The Chase Begins, which deals with a shapeshifter on the run. And it stars my favorite kind of shapeshifter, a werecat.

    Authors ELISSA MALCOHN and K.L. NAPPIER were there too. Those two ladies were kind enough to put up with a very green newbie and have the patience to explain things where necessary. Big thanks to you both.

    I had the honor of having my table next to the book signing table on Saturday. The special guests were Ben Bova, Jack McDevitt, Steve Miller and Sharon Lee. It was fascinating watching established writers do a book signing. It was also disconcerting to me to see the number of books and/or trips several readers made to get books signed. In my next blog post, I want to share a funny moment I had with Ben Bova.

    All in all, I made new friends and reconnected with old ones. I learned a little more about people in general and other ways to present myself and my novels.

    Book Tour Recap #4: Cavalier Comics [Jun 2,2010]

    The last day of my Virginia Book Tour, Saturday, April 10, was exciting and sad all at once. After finishing at the comic shop, I would have to get on the road with my kids and make the journey back to Florida.

    I decided that I wanted to have fun at the last venue and that's exactly what I did. JD, of course, joined me for every venue and kept my spirit up. And we talked shop about my upcoming fantasy novel and about cover designs for Jewels book #2. Wait until you see what we came up with!

    The owner, Brian, was an entertaining host and those that swung by to see what was going on were interesting. I even met a man who was an avid and ended up burned out because of life's circumstances. After hearing his tale, I expressed my sympathy and my hope that one day he would rediscover his love of reading. He surprised me several minutes later by buying a copy of Jewels.

    All in all, I had a blast on my tour and I have to thank all the venues for their support and willingness to let this newbie author put herself out there.

    Werewolf Love! Show Your Support [Jun 6,2010]


    I’m on Team Werewolf. Find out more. I found a very cool blog post that asks the big question: Team Vampire or Team Werewolf. You can join in the great debate by VISTING HERE. I'm going to explain my reasons because they are logical (at least I think so) and then it'll be up to you to decide. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each type of male.
    Ultimate Male Pros Cons
    • Super Strength
    • Immortal
    • Super Speed
    • Great sense of artistry
    • Great sense of smell
    • Extremely Beautiful
    • Fairly handy in a fight
    • Cool mental powers
    • Only up at night
    • Craves blood
    • Sensitive to beheadings, stakings, sunlight, fire and holy water
    • Extremely Beautiful (come on let's face it. Some women don't like to be upstaged in that arena)
    • Loners
    • Prone to jealousy and manipulations
    • Can't stand competition
    • Can't have babies. However can produce more vampires by biting someone
    • Controlling
    • Annoying mental powers like hypnotism and mind reading.
    • Super Strength
    • Super Speed
    • Great in the outdoors
    • Highly developed sense of smell
    • Animal Magnetism
    • Long-lived
    • Excellent Fighters
    • Able to reproduce
    • Great trackers
    • Family-oriented
    • Changes into a raving beast at least once a month during a full moon.
    • Animal smell, especially wet dog odor
    • Volatile and temperamental
    • Territorial
    • Always has to be the boss
    • Occasionally overprotective
    And if all those reasons are enough, here is my main one: I like my men warm and breathing, not cold and dead. Enough said. Feel free to leave a comment.

    Oasis 23 Recap #2: Close Encounters of the Bova Kind [June 8,2010]

    At the Oasis convention (May 28 - 30), there were several best seller writers in attendance. I had the the privilege of having my author table be next to the book signing table on Saturday, May 29. Doing the book signing were four awesome authors: Ben Bova, Steve Miller & Sharon Lee, and Jack McDevitt. It was fascinating to watch how they interacted with all the readers, some of who made three trips through the line. At the end, Jack McDevitt turned to me and asked me my name and we made light conversation. I felt out of sorts because he was the only name of the four that I didn't recognize. Ben Bova was the only author of the four whose books I had read. Well, after the other authors had left, Ben was still there talking with author Stokley Gittens. I decided that now would be the perfect time to get a picture. Screwing up my courage, took a few steps toward Mr. Bova and Stokley. I cleared my throat, smiled and asked, "Mr. Bova, sir, may I please take a picture of you?" Bova looked up, grinned and replied, "You can do anything you want with me." I kid you not, ladies and gents, I was totally floored for all of ten seconds before my mischievous side reared up. "Wow, sir, are you sure you want to do that? I mean, I'm not sure if you really want me to go there or not. That suggestion, with me, can be a dangerous thing." I thought Stokley was going to have a heart attack and the only other person nearby was the nice man who had been in charge during the book signing. He was laughing. Bova smiled even broader and chuckled as did I. I decided to play nice. "Danger aside, sir, I think I'll behave and take a picture." And that's what I did. Ben Bova

    To Write or Not to Write… [June 25,2010]

    ...That truly is the question, isn't it? I mean, let's take a moment and think about it. Your characters are singing that sweet siren song, wanting you to come and play but you have to live in the real world. That means house cleaning, kids, work and a hundred million other things that need to be done in a 24-hour period. You have to make a judgement call. Give in to that siren song, or, push it to the back of your mind and take care of daily life? As a single parent, these are the thoughts that bounce through my head on a daily basis. And though I try to set goals (i.e. Write "x" amount of words per day), life always likes to get in my way. Or maybe I get in my way? Hmm, food for thought. That being said, I love to write and if I could do it distractions-free, I might get even more done. We'll see how the next few weeks play out as I work toward finishing Moonbeams by July 31.

    Ebooks & Pricing [July 13,2010]

    This year is turning out to be an interesting one for me as a writer and in the writing industry. The great debate about e-books and pricing is heating up. More and more authors are joining in the e-book explosion and self-published authors are on the rise. As an indie author (trendy term for "self-published"), I have to say that all these happenings: dropping of E-reader prices, E-book avenue for selling our work, and an increase in E-publisher, is causing the traditional publishers to sit up and take notice. Not only that but in this year alone, the debate (and feuds) about e-book pricing has seen some crazy action (Remember Amazon versus Harper Collins and several other large publishing houses, with Amazon losing that one.) After much thinking, I"m starting to appreciate that the lower price is not such a bad thing. So to that end, I already lowered the prices of Jewels ($1.99) and Werelove Dusk Conspiracy ($2.99) in the Kindle Store. The pricing will also happen on Smashwords.com after the July promotion has ended. If you have never tried an ebook, go for it. You'll be surprised at the number of really good authors out there.

    My Monthly Newsletter [July 31,2010]

    I finally got around to creating my newsletter section on my Kishaz World. I had previously done two newsletter (May & June) and had done a trial run with a few friends to make sure everything was sending correctly. The July issue is going to go up by Sunday. I'm hoping to, beginning in August, to get my newsletter out by the 15th of every month. I hope to provide calendar of events, special articles features, and contests with my newsletter. If you'd like to subscribe, you can do so HERE. If you'd like to try out previous issues, you can access this HERE. August is looking to be a huge month, so definitely check back to see what's happening.

    Sweets, Split Personalities, Sanity? [August 8,2010]

    I have to say that the last few months have been downright crazy and August is shaping up to be the same. I've attempted to finish the first draft of Moonbeams, but have yet to do so. Though I am closer to the end than I was two months ago. Shayleah and crew have been flitting in and out of my mind, making it difficult to pin them down to finish the book. Meanwhile, I feel like my sanity has flown even farther south (I live in Florida) as the two crews Werelove and Jewels have decided to pipe up and demand attention. Thanks to the suggestion of a fellow author and the gift of a voice recorder from a friend, I've been verbally recording all the scenes that pop up from the two storylines. Werelove is dominating, giving me scenes from books 2 - 4 (in no particular order). Jewels decided to be heard and for the past three nights I've gained four scenes for book 2. If this is what it feels like having split personalities then I'd like a nice padded room with no interruptions to get everything written, if you please. On other fronts, I decided to celebrate the six-months anniversary of my debut novel, Jewels, this month, with a week-long contest. If you'd like more details, just click on the banner below. Dusk Conspiracy, the first book in my Werelove series, has been getting steady reviews. You can read them here. FUN FACT: When I feel a writing binge coming on, I tend to snack on Peanut Butter Fudge No Bake Cookies from Wal-mart, Reece's Cups, and Water. Occasionally I binge on Lay's chips of several varieties too. What can I say, I'm a snack food junkie.

    Book Reviews: Aug. Books/Sept. Books [Sep. 5,2010]

    I thought that I should start posting my reviews of books I'm reading at least twice a month. So here is the first round.

    The GardenerThe Gardener by S.A. Bodeen My rating: 3 of 5 stars Since I don't like spoilers myself, I try not to give any in my reviews. I classified this book as science fiction but it doesn't have aliens or galaxies, etc. It does however deal with technology and what happens when scientists are willing to go to extremes to accomplish their goal of ridding the Earth of hunger. I liked the main character of Mason because of his complexity and of course "hero" mentality that drives the story. I was not as enthralled with his object of desire, Laila. I won't say anymore, but all in all an easy quick read.
    BirthmarkedBirthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien My rating: 4 of 5 stars How do you choose which is more important: the life of your family or the lives of the entire world? That is the choice Gaia faces. When her parents are kidnapped and she's forced to learn about buried secrets, she has to decide what is the right thing to do. Could you make the choice?
    The ClearingThe Clearing by Heather Davis My rating: 4 of 5 stars I don't know where to start. This book had many things right, but to avoid spoilers it's hard not to use examples from the book. I shall try. This book could fall into several categories, a really nice cross-genres novel. There's history, there's paranormal aspects, fantasy/science fiction and it's contemporary. There is also romance. It tackles some interesting subjects including relationship abuse and self-esteem. It was an easy read and an enjoyable one.
    Lost TimeLost Time by Susan Maupin Schmid My rating: 5 of 5 stars Nice middle-grade story with a spunky heroine and plot twists to the end.

    Werelove Dusk Conspiracy Wins An Award [Oct. 5,2010]

    I have to admit that the past few weeks in my personal life have been very topsy turvy. Computer malfunctions, family angst, misbehaving children and a case of writer's block for one of my WIPs. I thought that maybe life was out to get me. And I felt depressed. Fast forward to 8 am Monday morning. I go to check my email and see the first of two surprises. Both came in the form of notices about reviews for my YA novel, Werelove Dusk Conspiracy. The first came from Bitten By Books. The reviewer, Danielle, gave Werelove, 4 tombstones out of 5 and had this to say, "...The underlying messages about believing in yourself, and standing up for yourself are appreciated, and I think they would be very helpful for a young person who is dealing with some of the issues that Laylah is facing." [Read the rest of the review HERE] I love it when a reader gets what I'm trying to do with my story. I've read a lot of YA in the last two years, ranging from poorly written to out of this world awesome, and of course everything in between. I wanted my YA novel to be different while still appealing to its intended audience. Following this email came the second email later in the day. This time it was Night Owl Reviews. The reviewer, DawnColclasure, gave Werelove 4.75 out of 5, and wrote a nice in-depth review (complete with quotes from the novel). She had this to say, “...A story full of mystery, action and suspense, Werelove: Dusk Conspiracy is a new twist on an old genre that leaves readers with a satisfied adventure to enjoy and remember.” [Read the rest of the review HERE] The biggest shock came, however, when I got to the end of the email notice. Werelove had received the Reviewer's Top Pick award. I froze, stared, and then started shrieking like a fangirl. I then cried but they were happy tears. Here's the cool badge I got for my efforts: After my elation subsided, a little fear set in. I have to make sure that book 2, "Midnight Revelations", lives up to the hype. Wish me luck!

    A New look & A request [Oct 13,2010]

    I like to try new things and blog templates are no exception. This one caught my eye because as a writer, I "paint" with words the story that readers enjoy. If you like the template, feel free to leave a comment. If you don't like it, you can comment too. Also, I have a request. If you haven't already voted, please vote in my NaNoWriMo story idea poll to the left. I'm trying to decide which story idea to work on during NaNoWriMo (November). The idea with the most votes will be the one I write.

    Werelove Book 2 News & More [Oct 22,2010]

    Whew! This week has flown by and I thought I should get a post in before Saturday. Why? Well, I'll be heading south to St. Petersburg, Florida to attend the Necronomicon convention. I'm excited because this will be my first year as an author and as a panelist. I'm over the moon with giddiness. In between my happiness and my stress, I found time to get chapters 1 and 2 of "Midnight Revelations", book 2 in the Werelove series, typed. I uploaded it Scribd and have made it available below. And to give you a bit of a heads up, I'm looking to have it published in April 2011. That's the goal and I'm determined to reach it. Enough from me. Enjoy the sneak peek.

    Werelove Midnight Revelations - Sneak Peek Release date: April 2011

    Necronomicon – Sat. October 23 [Oct 25,2010]

    Over the weekend I attended Necronomicon. This was my second year attending, but my first as an author. I was a basket case on the drive south to St. Petersburg. This was going to be my first time doing panels as well. I was scheduled for two on Saturday and two on Sunday. I arrived at the Hilton and made sure to park in the parking garage and NOT the Publix parking lot. [Read Last Year's Mishap] Once inside, I headed for the registration area only to find it closed. Disgruntled I started walking around, and noticed that on the tables were little pieces of paper taped to the the tables with an author's last name on it. I started looking about, trying to find my name. I was about to give up when I got to the last two tables in the hallway and found a surprise, my maiden name was listed on the table and not my married name [Spletzer]. I stood there puzzled by this fact until I remembered that on my Paypal account I never changed my last name. I had to laugh at forgetting to mention the name difference when I paid for the event. Feeling better, I set about unpacking before heading back to the now opened registration room and checking in. My first panel, What's Next After Harry, Percy, Artemis & Lemony Snicket?, took place at 10 am. I was extremely nervous even though K.L. Nappier and Lynne Hansen (who I met last year at Deep Carnivale) were on the panel, so was E. Rose Sabin and Will Ludwigsen. We had a large audience and I was thrilled to see kids and teens with their parents. The audience members were attentive and had excellent questions about the YA market, trends, and what the panelists thought of the future of YA. There was never a silent moment and the flow of conversation between us and the audience was incredible. At the end, I was more relaxed and pleased to have been part of the panel. I was stopped by several audience members and congratulated on a job well done. I think I blushed and managed to say thank you without an embarrassing stammering. I spent the next several hours speaking with attendees and answering questions about my novels when they would stop by my table. I met a really nice author and her friends, whose table was next to mine. Katherine Bell shared her publishing story and I shared mine. We all did a lot of laughing and watching over each table if one of us had to get up for a moment. I briefly took off to Subway in the PUBLIX plaza (no, no sarcasm here) and ordered my favorite sandwich: tuna on honey oat with melted Swiss and a bag of potato chips and a Dr. Pepper to drink. The rest of the afternoon flew by once I got back to my table and before I knew it, it was time for my 6 pm panel. This time the panel, Is Self Publishing Right for You?, was in a small, very warm room. Normally I love warmth, but even I got a little hot in there. It also had a bigger turn-out than my first panel. I don't believe there was an empty chair in the room. I was joined by Chris Helton (game designer), T.S. Robinson (fantasy), Tony Finkelstein (indie movie producer) and Chris A. Jackson (science fiction). The dynamics of this panel were different than the first. I was the lone woman in the group and I'll admit it, I think I was a wee bit overwhelmed by all the testosterone in the air. I didn't feel too bad when T.S. also seemed to have the same tentativeness in responding in general. I'd like to take a moment and blame my slowness on lack of sleep. *winks* There were a lot of questions and we did our best to answer them all. Plenty of them were on social media and networking. After the panel, I packed my things and headed to dinner with some friends. All in all, a very satisfying first day. Stay tuned for my Sunday report.

    Necronomicon – Sun. October 24 [Oct 27,2010]

    Now for the second half of my Necronomicon report. I started off Sunday morning frustrated with my inability to get decent wi-fi at the convention site and at my hotel. I'm a very active tweeter and facebook message fiend and to be deprived was very wrong and annoying. *sighs* My morning continued to be a little on the crazy side with me doing a mad dash from the place where I had breakfast with friends to the convention site for my 10 am panel, Romance in SF & F. Thankfully it was Glenda Finkelstein as moderator and was joined by Chris Berman. The conversation between us and our brave early morning audience was pleasant and they asked great questions. My favorite moment was when I had to explain about how to write alien/human relationships. Kudos to the audience member for asking that question. Trust me, I had fun answering it. After that panel, I had to skedaddle to my second panel of the day, but my last one of the convention. For Animals & the Paranormal, I got to be with K.L. Nappier and Brandy Stark. I have to say that of all the panels I was on, the direction this one took surprised me a little and I got that feeling again that I had in the Self-Publishing panel. Neither K.L. or Brandy were rude or mean, but there were moments when the subject matter left me with nothing to say. I will say that the highlight of this panel was gentleman who came in wearing a horse's head. I'm not joking. I wish I'd had a working camera, that shot would have been amazing. After my panel, is was back to my table where I set about selling a few more books and talking to convention goers who were considering the route of the indie author. I tried to answer where possible and if I didn't have an answer, refer them to google to do a search. All in all, my first Necronomicon was a great and rewarding success.

    NaNoWriMo idea winner is... [Oct 31,2010]

    I decided to put out a poll this year to help me with NaNoWriMo. I had six great ideas and truly couldn't choose among them. So I thought, why not ask for help? I did and the voting ended on Oct. 30. Here is a recap of the ideas: Idea #1: A teenager with special markings hears a mystery voice in her dreams calling for help. (5 votes) Idea #2: Four children (ages 9 - 12) must save their kingdom from an evil tyrant set on controlling everything. (12 votes) Idea #3: A young woman is forced to spy on a rival company in order to steal its secret technology. Problem is, the CEO and she have a past. (votes 2) Idea #4: A reformed bad boy must confront his past deeds in order to save the life of one extraordinary young woman and find redeemption. (votes 8) Idea #5: A girl (age 10) must save her younger sister from a trickster god. (votes 6) Idea #6: A wild teen living in the forest meets a talking parrot with a hidden agenda (votes 3) And the winner is Idea #2. Now that the poll is over, I'm going to head over to the official site and fill in the rest of the details. To all my fellow NaNoers, good luck tomorrow and may your ideas and thoughts flow freely.

    1-star Rating [Nov 1,2010]

    Today while checking out the ratings for my novels, I found a 1-star rating for Werelove Dusk Conspiracy. I have to admit that I was a little shocked and dismayed. I've had two 2-star ratings at different locations but never a 1-star. Of course, it was bound to happen but still, it was a jarring moment. My only complaint was that no reason was listed. Now, as a reader, I'm a firm believer that if I give something a low rating 2-star and below that I should list at least one reason why. That way others may benefit from my thoughts or maybe someone has something a counterpoint to mine that might help me view a book in a different light. All I can say is, if you're a reader, and you decide to rate a book on Goodreads, especially if you're going to give it low marks, please, at least say why.

    NaNoWriMo Thoughts [Nov 5,2010]

    We're only five days into this month and already I feel like the joyful and fun spirit is being infringed upon by naysayers. I've been coming across articles (thanks to Tweets and Facebook messages from other NaNoers) about the perceptions, misconceptions and sometimes downright all-attack commentary that is being posted about NaNoWriMo. I decided I would say my piece and people can make of it what they will. I first heard of NaNoWriMo in 2006 and after visiting the website, decided it was what I needed to get back into some semblance of a writing groove and to actually finish something. Before that month, I had written 1-2 chapters of something, would lose focus, and start on another idea. I drove my fellow writer's workshop members crazy. Also my personal life was a mess: I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, my husband had decided he didn't want to be married and had filed for divorce and my oldest had started school and was having trouble adjusting. Writing has always been an emotional stress reliever and 30 days of nonstop writing sounded like a great idea. Unfortunately, I didn't get to do NaNo in 2006 because my youngest decided to make her appearance via emergency c-section on November 1, 2006. I continued to languish in no-man's land, unable to write, wanting to write, and adjusting to being a single parent again. When NaNo 2007 rolled around, I didn't go for the 50,000-word challenge. No, instead I made a personal goal to finish a chapter in one of my uncompleted works. It took me 30 days to do it but I felt better about myself and my writing. Plus, having others that were doing NaNo and encouraging me really helped. 2008 turned into a pivotal year for me personally and emotionally. My divorce was finalized and in August 2008 my creative juices had begun functioning again and I wrote on my fantasy novel Moonbeams for three months straight, turning out 4 chapters. I was ready for NaNo 2008. I had a vague idea at the time to do a YA story that had werewolves in it. No vampires. It wasn't until I sat down and started working on Werelove Dusk Conspiracy that the idea fully formed and once I started writing I couldn't get it out of my head. And though I fell short of the 5ok (I got 40,496), I had the start of what would later turn into an 81,432-word novel. As NaNo 2009 barreled toward me, I was in full writing mode, having written a second novel, Jewels. Both it, and Werelove were given to former English teachers for editing. I once more reached into my "Never-finished" folder and pulled out a story to work on for NaNo 2009. This time I hit the mark and even went past it, but because of a slow internet connection upload, didn't get it submitted before the 11:59 pm deadline. I didn't care though. I'd done what I set out to do and I was ecstatic. That particular story is still cooling its heels because 2010 marked a turning point in my writing life. So far this year has been extraordinary and I have to thank NaNoWriMo as well as the support of the local writer's support group for helping me gain the courage and the skills to actually finish a novel. With all that being said, I want to go back to my original thought about the naysayers. An online article that has generated over 200+ comments (as of this post) was written by a naysayer, Laura Miller. In her article, "Better yet, DON'T write that novel: Why National Novel Writing Month is a waste of time and energy," Miller, wrote what appears to be more an opinion piece than a fact-based article about NaNoWriMo. Of course, with the title, I guess I should have expected that but I actually thought it would read differently. I don't know if she gets paid per click or per word, but after reading the vast majority (150 comments so far), people are shouting from both sides of the fence, with a few in the middle. Miller has taken an ideal, a really practical idea, and trampled on it. The whole point to our 30 days of mad writing is to write. For some, they actually work or continue working on novels they have lying around. For some, it's a healing. Maybe they needed to get something off their chest. For others, it's a fun way to network with others. There are those who do it just for the challenge alone and the bragging rights to say they wrote 50,000 words in 30 days. Regardless of the reason, I'm of the firm belief that anything that brings joy, communication and creativity to the table is a good thing, not a bad thing. And as for Miller's claim that by doing NaNo that the participants somehow devolve into non-readers, I find that laughable. I'm an avid reader, have been since the age of 4 (thanks to my mother who also was a reader). I think I've read more in the last few years that I've done NaNo mainly because I didn't want to be like everyone else. You can't become an unique author if your writing is like everyone else's work. Not that there won't be overlap, mind you, but you can still find ways to be original. I also want to add that NaNo also encourages children and teens. After watching me do NaNo in 2008, my oldest daughter who is a avid reader too, wanted to do NaNo. I signed her up last year for the Young Writers Program. It was fun because being under 13, she got to set her goal. I took one of her stories that she'd written, did a word count and realized that she averaged around 100 words (handwritten) per page. After talking with her, we decided to set her a 2500-word goal. My daughter wholeheartedly dived in and at the end of NaNo 2009 had written 3,251 words of her fantasy story. And, she continues to read. So to Laura Miller and other naysayers, eat your heart out as all of us writers, published and unpublished enjoy our NaNo joy.

    NaNoWriMo Thoughts #2 [Nov 25,2010]

    This is a little late in coming (lol) but I thought I'd post this anyway. Around about November 15, I realized that NaNo just wasn't happening for me this year. I got a good start but then my life got in the way and I lost the momentum I had built. I'm still working on my story ("The Tempo") and my goal is to hit at least the 10k mark before November 30. I'm hoping to make up for this month by working hard next month to complete a few projects and get them to my editor. To all my fellow NaNoers, keep up the good work.

    2010 is winding down... [Dec 16,2010]

    ...and all I can say is "wow, what a crazy ride!" Actually that's not all I can say, but it sums up my year nicely. From making my debut as an author, to attending conventions, to meeting awesome readers worldwide, this year has been one for the Kisha Hall of Fame. I've watched as the publishing industry has changed, grown, shrank, stirred controversy and reoriented itself to cope with the changes. I've encountered pioneers in the ebook explosion (JA Konrath being the one I read the most), weighed in on discussion boards about ebook pricing (Amazon) and drawn my own conclusions as to the best way to proceed. As of today I've written 42,244 on 7 different W.I.Ps for this year. Pretty good considering I've spent most of 2010 promoting my debut novel Jewels as well as my first YA novel, Werelove Dusk Conspiracy. I'll have a final word count for 2010 by January 1 because I still have stuff that is handwritten that has to be typed so that I can get an accurate count. I'm proud of myself because I've worked on three in-progress novels that will be coming out in 2011:

    Who knows what else I might have up my sleeve in 2011. All I know is that I will be praising my beta readers and editor for all their help and insights. I also look forward to create more worlds as well as visiting old ones. I also hope for 2011 that some of my diligently working writer friends who are moving toward publishing, have their debuts and are very successful. I think I've waxed poetically enough. Time to go write.





    (Jan -Nov) 2013

    All blog entries for Dec 2013 and forward are on the main blog site here.